Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

March Moments March 13, 2023

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 2:53 pm

It seems like a lot has happened since I last sat down to blog. Nothing major, but all the ups and downs of everyday life. Let’s dive into the all little moments that have made up the last week and a half. I have so many things to share!

On Friday, March 3rd, Jeremy decided to clean up a hand-me-down fish tank in hopes of upgrading our kitchen counter fish experience. Owen’s betta, Sunny, relocated to Owen’s room to make space for the larger fish tank. On Saturday, Jeremy and the boys went on a fish finding quest. They each came home with a fish and the grand fish adventure began. We prepared the boys for the fish might not to survive the experience. We knew acclimating to a new tank can be difficult. This was true for Sunset, the fish Owen picked. (Did his name possibly lead to his demise?!)

On Friday, March 10th, we went on another fish finding outing and came home with four elephant ear guppies (which I wanted to name after the sugary fair treat). It turns out Barry, Graham’s fish from the week before, thought the guppies were a tasty snack. (Could it be their name, like Sunset, got them in trouble? Elephant Ear – seems possible). Since Barry was too aggressive, we had to let him go. At this point, two of the four guppies have passed. We blame Barry-related trauma. This leaves us now with three fish in the tank – Jeremy’s fish (Sharky) and two guppies (Cinnamon & Sugar). We knew acclimating fish to a new tank and finding good tankmates was a challenging process. Our losses haven’t been a surprise. Our hope is slowly to get our tank to around 7-10 happy fish. I wonder how long that will take at the rate we’re going?

The fish situation has had it’s highs and lows. Co-op was a bright spot last week with a pajama movie party. We also enjoyed a playdate with co-op friends and a dinner/game time with family. This weekend was a mix of moments. Some good, some not so good. On Friday, we postponed plans with friends because they were a little under the weather. Turns out, Graham would have had us canceling those plans anyway. By Friday evening, it was clear that Graham had a tummy bug. Usually, he sleeps off tummy troubles and they last less than 24 hours, but this flu held on! On top of that, Thursday into Friday we had a windstorm that knocked out power in the night and disruppted our sleep… Then Graham’s tummy troubles had us up in the night multiple nights in a row… And then add daylight savings! Our sleep has been so off!!! Thankfully, Graham perked up yesterday afternoon and is now 24 hour symptom free and back to his normal self.

Even with an unexpected illness this weekend, Jeremy and I tag-teammed some fun into Saturday. I got up early on Saturday to meet a friend for a cookie adventure. There is a local cookie shop only open on Saturdays and it’s hugely poplar – like long lines outside the shop until they sell out for the day. A friend and I have both been waiting for the hype to quiet down before trying Sweet Dough Cookie Co. It seems that isn’t happening so we decided to brave the line together. We got warm drinks and chatted while waiting. Our diligence paid off and we were fourth into the building! I was able to get seven delicious cookies that were a bright spot in a rougher-than-expected weekend. When I got home from my morning cookie adventure, Jeremy took off for an afternoon of golf with his family. We certainly felt bad for Graham, but we were glad that our weekend plans didn’t completely change. Mom and Dad need to have fun with friends/family every now and again!

Okay, that was a lot! So many little moments to share, but when added together make for an adventurous March! We are staring down the second half of the month and it promises to be full of epic moments. I have a conference coming up this weekend and then the following weekend is Jeremy’s birthday. The next few weeks will be our normal, somewhat quiet weekday routine so that way we can spend our energy on big weekends. I’m always trying to find a strike a balance with good margin. Calm weeks is a good trade off crazy weekends!

Selecting Sunset
Transporting precious cargo!
Our new kitchen counter display!
Graham’s pinecone bird feeder!
Acclimating the guppies while Barry lurks below waiting for a snack!
Visiting Sweet Dough Cookie Co. with a sweet friend!
These cookies were a bright spot and special treat this weekend!
 

A Few Snowy Days March 3, 2023

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 10:00 am

The last week or so has been filled with snowflakes. Some stick, some don’t. Sometimes we get a dusting. Sometimes we get a few inches. While I always welcome snow, I wish these brushes with snow could have consolidated into one good dump of snow. We have yet to reach my desired depth – the grass completely covered! Jeremy joked he should have mowed the grass so it was short and my dream would have come true. Ha! It probably would have worked. There is just something about little pieces of grass poking out that ruin the visual effect for me. Despite it not being blizzard conditions here, the snow has been fun. I love snow on trees and in February we made three snowman. Jeremy helped with the last one. It’s a giant snowman and even though it was made on Monday, it’s still standing today (Friday).

Other than snow days, we’ve been out and about with church, co-op, dinners with friends, and playdates. March will be a social month with more playdates and dinners on the calendar. I’m attending a conference with a friend this month and it’s also Jeremy’s birthday month. The winter hibernation is coming to an end. Spring is near! As much as I’ve enjoyed the cozy, inside vibes, I’m also ready for more time outside. Walks in the sunshine. Kids catching tadpoles. Longer days. Each season has it’s simple pleasures. I chuckle as I type this because there is a dusting of snow outside my window. I might be getting ahead of myself!

Below is a collection of our snowy day pictures and a few others from around the house. In my last post, I mentioned that February had Groundhog’s Day vibes. A lot of the same over and over again. It seems fitting that most of my photos from February are snow days with just a couple inches of snow… on repeat. Enjoy!

Our February 22nd Snow – the boys got some “sledding” in before church!
Our February 22nd Snow – the boys got some “sledding” in before church!
Our February 26th Snow
Our February 26th Snow
Meet Snowen – named after Owen! Ha!
One of my favorite views!
When Daddy helps make a snowman with day old snow!
Owen’s Savannah Grasslands Biome Project
The March Books of Choice
Our backyard on Wednesday. The shade really keeps the snow!
Our backyard this morning! The snowy days keep on coming…
 

The Quiet of Winter February 22, 2023

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Bible,Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:28 pm

At the risk of sounding like a hermit, I’ve felt the pull toward hibernation in these winter months. Let’s just say, the damp weather and lack of daylight make outdoor adventures less appealing this time of year… Thanks to inflation, indoor adventures are also less enticing. Gas prices mixed with raised admission costs have kept me from pursuing new experiences. Instead, I’ve felt a strong desire to snuggle in and be cozy at home. We’ve kept soup stocked in our fridge and baked goods on the countertop. I’ve struggled with “blog-able” content because I usually share what neat things we’ve been up to over the course of a week. It would seem that our whole month has felt a bit like Groundhog’s Day. A lot of the same, over and over and over again. I’m not complaining about it! I’m a big fan of routine and margin on the calendar, but it’s not glamorous, that’s for sure.

When thinking about what to share with you, I decided to write about some of my daily things. My ordinary, day-in-and-out moments. My personality is all about self-discipline and I find that I quietly slip into certain tasks everyday, almost as if on auto-pilot. I’m always intrigued to hear what are the non-negotiables on other people’s calendars. What do they prioritize? It’s the little and sometimes mundane moments that snowball into how we live our lives. If you were to study a day in the life of Amy Scott, here are a few things you would see on repeat.

  • Making the bed – It’s how I start everyday. The science of starting your day with a productive win works for me.
  • Getting 10,000 steps – in the warmer months, I strive for 13,000+ steps, but walking the extra 3,000 steps is harder in the colder, darker months. If it’s dry, you’ll find me walking up and down my driveway – often talking with my mom or boys. If it’s wet, you’ll see me walking laps around my kitchen/dining/living room as my family plays or watches TV. If I need space or quiet, you might find me on the treadmill in the garage. How I walk is optional, but walking is not! If I’m walking alone, For King & Country, Switchfoot, or the Hamilton soundtrack are often playing (and I’m singing along). I also use walking time to listen to friends and respond on Marco Polo.
  • Reading my Bible – I’m not a morning person, so this doesn’t happen in the wee, dark hours of the morning before my family wakes up. It often happens at the dining room table while I sit by a boy working on a homeschool assignment or during quiet time or after the kids have gone to bed. For the last decade, I’ve used the YouVersion app on my phone for their Bible reading plans. I’m about a month away from finishing a Whole Bible in Two Years plan and then I’m going to switch back to reading a physical, print Bible. My sons might read their Bibles on devices as technology advances, but I want them to have childhood memories of their mom with her Bible open.
  • Journaling – I might not write in my journal every day, but I would say I do most days. My journaling has taken on a variety of forms over the years. I started actively journaling as a middle schooler and it’s a habit that stuck. Not only that, I’ve kept all of those journals. They are in a box in my garage. I thought I would share them with my future daughters, which I did not end up with… so what to do with them… Maybe my future granddaughters will read them. Honestly, they aren’t brilliant – especially the middle school years where I gushed about my crush on JT from N’SYNC. Nowadays, I write about what we’ve been up and how I’m feeling about things. Sometimes it’s just facts, sometimes it’s emotions. I process my world best through the written word. It’s why I love this blog. It’s like therapy for me.
  • Chores – I’m a tidy person by nature. I do at least one load of laundry a day. I’ll run the Roomba during quiet time or when we are out of the house. You’ll often find me indulging my OCD by wiping down the counters 4 times a day, if not more. I also compulsively fluff pillows. Once I week I have a “house cleaning” day, but I clean as a go throughout the week. I’m not a fan of clutter and I’m a huge believer in every item having a home it returns to after use.
  • The Fun Stuff – Reading, baking, playing games, soaking in the hot tub! Reading is my favorite hobby and I make time for it daily. Baking happens at least once a week, if not more. Board games on free evenings are a family favorite (right now Wingspan is the game of choice). Also on free evenings, you’ll find our family soaking in our inflatable hot tub before bedtime. Oh! Jeremy and I are re-watching an episode of Once Upon a Time each evening after the kids go to bed. It’s been fun to revisit our favorite show.

Not every day is same old, same old. We love getting out of the house for church and co-op. This last week was book club for me. It’s a highlight of my month. These women have become my village and I love bonding over a shared love of books. We had a snowy start to Valentine’s Day and the kids had a blast at their co-op party. Jeremy and Owen picked up a Heartbreaker pizza and tulips for our family to celebrate. We had a windstorm this week that knocked out our power for four hours in the middle of the night. Some adventures find you even when you aren’t looking for them.

Our calendar has been a bit on the quieter side, but I’m savoring the slow before we head into a busy spring. March will shift our pace of life so don’t be surprised if I cozy on in and enjoy the winter hibernation vibes just a little bit longer. The quiet, slow, and ordinary days can be a beautiful masterpiece. They showcase faithfulness – faithfulness to family, home, community, education, and faith. As my favorite Eugene Peterson quote says, “A long obedience in the same direction.” Oh, how that resonates with me!

My favorite way to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Pretty cookies!
A snowy start to Valentine’s Day! It melted quickly, so I’m glad I let the kids play before school.
Owen has graduated to playing Wingspan by himself! No more partnering with a parent.
On a lazy Saturday, I don’t mind slipping back into bed to read. Graham join me. I guess I’m passing on a love of reading while being comfy to the next generation.
We just keep flirting with snow… still waiting for a “good” snow. My personal standard is the grass being completely covered!
 

February Fun and Games! February 11, 2023

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 5:35 pm

It looks like February is going to be a sporadic blogging month for me. Sorry! As I mentioned in my last post, we spent January focused on getting back into routine after the holidays. It would seem that February is following in January’s footsteps (that is, if month’s had feet). We’ve been plodding away with our usual scheduled programing… all good things, but nothing too out of the ordinary.

Last weekend, we cheered on two of my nephews at an indoor soccer game. Let me tell you, I am a fan indoor sports! Especially in February! Nothing like being warm and dry while watching sports in the PNW. It was a pretty sweet deal. The boys had a blast cheering for their cousins and we were all excited their team won. While we were out and about on Saturday, we had a special pizza lunch with Nana and Papa. After the soccer game, we took the kids to Crumbl Cookies. Okay, Crumbl was really for Jeremy and I. Graham usually finds a cookie he enjoys each time, but Owen not so much. His cookie palette is limited to Safeway Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Last week, Jeremy and I started playing Wingspan in our free time. We purchased the original board game and also added the Oceania expansion set. We played a few games on our own before adding the boys into the mix. We have friends and family who love this game… and I am so bad at it! Jeremy and I decided to add it to our home collection so I could practice. I do believe I’m improving. I’ve won the last four games we’ve played!!! Since I’m terrible at board games, this feel like a major victory!

It’s been a big baking week for us. Owen helped me make a double batch of butter cookies on Monday. We froze them with plans to decorate them and give them out as Valentine’s gifts. I delivered a meal to a friend with a new baby. I made some brownies and cinnamon rolls (a double batch so we could keep one pan for ourselves) to include with the meal. I’m not a great cook so my “meal” consisted of frozen lasagna that I baked before delivery, a bag of salad, a bag of dinner rolls, brownies for dessert, cinnamon rolls for breakfast the following day, and a bottle of sparkling cider. Nothing fancy, but gifted with love and excitement. Graham helped Jeremy bake lemon bars today with lemons from his greenhouse. They made the kitchen smell so good! I plan to make another batch of brownies tonight – this time for the Super Bowl tomorrow.

Highlights of this weekend will be going over to my parent’s house for waffles soon. The boys will bring our Switch and collaborate with Grandpa & Grandma over all things Animal Crossing. Tomorrow we’ll watch the Super Bowl with Jeremy’s parents. Nana asked Owen if he would perform one of the piano songs they’ve been practicing together. Valentine’s Day is also right around the corner, so we’ll be decorating those butter cookies and preparing to share treats with our co-op friends. Since Valentine’s Day falls on a co-op day, the kids plan to exchange valentines, have a class party, and practice their square dancing in their Sunday best. Should be a hoot!

The cheering section!
Bottle flip challenge! These cousins always have a good time together!
Every week with Crumbl is a good week!
Our new family past time
Added some hearts to the snowflakes! I’ll keep them up through February. This is how we decorate our “classroom.”
When life gives you lemons, make lemon bars!
 

Hello February! February 2, 2023

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 3:54 pm

Happy Groundhog’s Day! I’ve been informed that good, old Phil saw his shadow today and there will be six more weeks of winter. If “winter” could resemble this last week’s weather, I would happily accept. We’ve had a rare dry stretch here in the PNW. It’s been cold, but it’s been sunny! Something about January (and now February) sunshine feels like a gift. Despite the chill, I’ve done my best to get a walk in the brisk, fresh air everyday it’s clear. Gotta get that Vitamin D! It helps stave off my desire to hibernate during these winter weeks.

My blog posts have been sporadic this past month. I like to write weekly, but something about January… It’s kind of a slow month. We definitely keep busy, but not in the most interesting ways. January feels like a return to ordinary, to routine after the holidays. It’s back to school and the usual commitments that took a break in December. It’s also my birthday month… which means, lots of book shopping… and book reading. The quiet is appreciated. The return to routine is grounding. Not super exciting to write about, but very good in a simple kind of way.

So, what to share? Last week our family gave a presentation at our homeschool co-op about the national parks we’ve visited. Each week at co-op a different family gives a 3-5 minute presentation. The inspiration for this activity was to give the kids in our group a chance to practice public speaking. The day of our family presentation, we also took our drama class on a field trip to the main stage in our church. We talked about the sound board and the lighting. Jeremy came down to help me turn everything on. We talked about stage positions and showed them backstage. This class has been surprisingly fun to teach. While I don’t have professional drama experience, it’s been neat to watch the kids latch on to acting and sharing stories. The kids are greatly enjoying themselves and it’s a huge relief to me that we are pulling this off! I’m so thankful a dear friend is co-teaching with me as well. It’s been quite the experience for us all.

While the younger kids are learning drama, the older class is learning Shakespeare. I sit in on this class as the parent helper. I will happily admit I’m learning just as much as the students. The group is doing an adapted version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I purchased my own copy of the play and I’ve almost finished it! This is the first time I’ve read Shakespeare since high school and the first time I’ve ever done it voluntarily. I love that our homeschool co-op is growing and challenging me as well as my kids.

The other co-op related highlight was our field trip to the fire station this week. We visited the fire station numerous times during our preschool years thanks to MOPS. This was the first time the kids have visited as elementary students. As we were driving to the station, we passed an aid car from the fire station. Then we came upon a fender bender were one of the cars had caught fire. The fire truck was there with the hose out. It had just put the fire out before we drove by. I explained to the boys that the firefighters might be too busy with this call to have us visit. The firefighters were slightly late, but they arrived at the station ready to give us a tour and answer our questions. The boys got to see all the equipment and sit inside the truck. They haven’t outgrown the age of fire trucks being cool. I appreciate having a group of families to do activities like this with. Our co-op has been a huge blessing to our homeschool journey.

What to say that’s not co-op related? We’ve had quite a bit of time around the house as we’ve settled back into routine. Lots of time for board games, books, and baking. The boys are into playing Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Switch. This game has sparked an interest in fish and bugs since they collect them on their island, Sunny Pear. I’ve picked up some new reference books (book club recommendations) and I love seeing the boys pouring through them – identifying creatures and sharing facts. The new thing to build with LEGOs is the variety of fish they can catch on Animal Crossing. While I’m not a huge fan of video games, I can get behind something that sparks their interest in the natural world.

I’m not sure if February will mimic January in its chill vibes. Apparently, Phil thinks so. I won’t mind if it does. I enjoy these winter days – snuggled inside, warm, cozy. It’s a good mix of commitments and down time. A quiet balance. As the weather improves, our calendar fills up. We’ve had lots of calendar talks recently (anyone else feel like their spring/summer is booked? Just me?). I know busy days are coming. Our calendar tends to ebb and flow. I can appreciate this slower season knowing it prepares for me what lies around the bend.

Sharing our love of national parks at co-op!
Don’t let those smiles fool you! They are ruthless Sorry players!
My baking buddy! Graham is a fan of sugar and spice!
Fire station fun!
February books! I learned about Ocean Anatomy and Nature Anatomy at book club. I hope to add more of these pretty reference books to our home library.

 

January Celebrations! January 23, 2023

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 3:34 pm

January can be a bleak month for some after the joy of holiday celebrations in December. My January birthday makes the festive and fun vibes continue on even after the Christmas season has passed and we’ve welcomed a New Year. I’m all for making my birthday into a celebration that goes beyond the actual date of January 14th. Not only my birthday, but January itself affords many other moments of celebration. It’s the small, simple joys that add up. They add some confetti to the middle-of-winter atmosphere.

We finished our 18th week of school on Thursday. We are officially halfway through our school year!!! Since we don’t have teacher conferences to reward the kids for positive feedback, we developed a reward system of our own. At the end of the 1st & 3rd quarter, the boys can select a $10 reward. At the end of the 2nd & 4th quarter, they receive a $20 reward. It’s essentially our version of paying for good grades. Making the “grade” isn’t really the focus, though. It’s a reward system based on completion of work and the general attitude of the quarter. I’m thankful my kiddos enjoy being students. It makes being their teacher rewarding and I want to honor the effort they have made.

This weekend was a fun one! The perfect mix of productivity, rest, and socializing. Friday was my weekly “clean the house” day. I do a list of chores once a week to get the house to its base level of clean (bathrooms, floors, dusting). Housecleaning day depends on our plans (and if the house should be tidy for company). Cleaning never takes a full day so there was time to rest before a late night out at book club. The post-Christmas book club is special because we all have new books to share.

Saturday, we had my forever friend, Maggie, and her family over for the the day. The kids happily played with toys while the adults played Wingspan and watched the Chiefs play the Jaguars. Maggie and I share a birthday month with our birthdays only a couple weeks apart. This last weekend was in the middle of our two birthdays so we took a moment to celebrate 37 with brownies, candles, and a song.

Sunday morning was church and then a quiet afternoon/evening. It was also Lunar New Year which our kids latched on to celebrating a few years ago. It has turned into a low-key tradition for us. Our version of Lunar New Year consists of red envelopes with a small amount of money and then Chinese food for dinner. We certainly don’t go all out, but it’s fun to make the day a little extra.

One last highlight of the week was finding a new quilt for our bedroom. Our comforter set has been showing its age for a while, but I’m so picky when it comes to bedding. The stress of finding the right bedding almost paralyzes me. In my opinion, the bed is a huge focal point of our room and I want it to look put together. Too many throw pillows or throw blankets or added layers start to overwhelm me, though. After a long search, Jeremy and I settled on a navy quilt with a herringbone pattern to it. It works well with the sheet set and throw pillows we already have. Jeremy was the one who suggested we move from gray bedding to navy and it certainly makes the bed pop on the gray wall. I’ve enjoyed seeing our color palette of blues, grays, and creamy whites expand throughout the house.

That sums up the January celebrations for now. Small things, but definitely bright spots in the midst of the cold wintertime. The holidays might be over, but the time for celebrating is not!

Wrapping up his unit on the rainforest biome!
Couldn’t help but chuckle! Apparently the rainforest spread to our coffee table!
Graham was so excited for this Animal Crossing stuffy as a part of his quarter reward!
Thankful the bedding search is finished!
Surprise snow on Saturday! It didn’t accumulate but it was fun to watch!
Birthday buddies!
 

Hello 2023 January 5, 2023

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 2:40 pm

Does the New Year sneak up on you? It always seems to sneak up on me! I get so focused on the holidays and multiple family birthdays in December. The whole month is one big celebration and then BAM! It’s January! A New Year! I try to reflect on the year I’ve had and set intentions for coming year, but my brain can’t seem to focus on these concepts until the very end of the year. I’m too busy partying in December for reflection. What are my thoughts on 2022? In some ways it was a slow year of rebuilding after pandemic conditions. We still had quite a bit of time around the house. We came back to in-person church and joined a homeschool co-op. Our family vacation to Sunriver, OR was also major highlight. Reading was top priority in 2022. I challenged myself to see how many books I could read in a year and I was shocked to find it was over 200 (thanks to that extra time at home).

Now that 2023 is here, I have some thoughts for the coming year. I try not to make super serious and intense New Year’s Resolutions. I find it beneficial to challenge myself, but my personally type does that all on it’s own without the need of a resolution (I’m an Enneagram Type 1). Since fun isn’t my normal M.O., I try to add yearly goals that bring me joy (thus, the reading goals in 2022 and baking goals in 2021).

What are some of my thoughts for 2023?

I’m working on a whole Bible in two years plans right now. It will wrap up in April and I hope to start a one-year chronological Bible afterward. I thought about doubling up and starting my new Bible while finishing my current plan, but that seemed like a lot. Starting my new Bible in April will mean that the dates are off (it starts on January 1st), but I think this will help me extend grace to myself when I miss a day. I’ll already be off from the actual date, so it’s not as big of a deal. I have a one year Bible that got in high school and have used multiple times, but I decided to get a new one. I wanted a fresh slate and I’m looking forward to the chronological format.

My reading goal for 2023 is 100 books. I’ve also decided to keep track of pages read for an additional challenge. To grow our home library, I plan on letting the boys each pick a new book once a month to purchase. We ordered the January books on Amazon and then also made our way to a popular used bookstore on January 1st. We are doing a good job of growing our home library so far in 2023! I’ll be intrigued to see what they pick each month. I’m hoping this will give me a consistent structure for purchasing kids books. This approach should keep my book shopping in check and spread it out evenly over the course of the year.

As silly as it sounds, I have hopes to watch more television in 2023. In 2022, television time meant a lower book count and I was all about seeing how many books I could read. While I do prefer books to television, I have a few favorite shows I hope to watch again. Jeremy and I started Once Upon a Time this week. This was our favorite show when it was on air and we have so many good memories surrounding this show! I also watched the Call the Midwife holiday episode last night. Television feels like such a novelty now!

Now that Christmas break is over, it’s back to school for our homeschool family. We are two weeks away from finishing our 2nd quarter. Time really has flown by! For the next two months, I’ll be co-teaching a drama class at our homeschool co-op. Each week, we plan to take a classic story to read, discuss, and recreate. We’ll incorporate drama techniques and terminology as we act out these well-known stories. Our first week went really well! Our story was The Gingerbread Man and the kids had a blast acting out the tale (lots of running and giggles). We wrapped up the class by munching on ginger cookies! Next week we’ll dive into Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

While it’s hard to believe the holiday season is behind us, I am excited for the all the possibilities that lie ahead in 2023. I’m not quite sure what to expect by I am hopeful and optimistic. Each day is an adventure, a blank page ready to be written. I hope 2023 is a good story waiting to be told!

Visiting Powell’s was a great way to kick off the New Year!
The January Books!
In a goal to add more furniture to our living room, we got a coffee table! The hope is to also add some bookshelves when they come back into stock at Ikea.
A new coffee table and four additional throw pillows in the loving room! I’m excited to “style” the coffee table soon. Of course, I’m planning for coffee table books!
Back to the school books! Don’t judge our school uniform – pajamas and comfy clothes! I promise we dress normal in public!
 

Gingerbread and Snowflakes December 14, 2022

Filed under: Family Time,Getting Creative,Homeschool Adventures,Travels — Amy Scott @ 7:05 pm

We are officially on Christmas break! Christmas traditions, festive foods, time with friends and family. Bring it on! Actually, as you can guess, we’ve been in full holiday season mode this whole month. It’s just nice to take school out of the mix for a bit. I love homeschooling my boys, but this teacher is ready for a rest! The kids might be a little excited, too. They worked extra hard this week so they could start their break today instead of tomorrow. We’re all ready for a change of pace.

Some of the festivities this week revolved around gingerbread. Every year we buy the gingerbread house kit from Costco. Owen informed me it’s actually a gingerbread mansion. (It’s important to get these details correct.) I love this kit because the house (aka mansion) comes pre-assembled. No struggles with structural integrity. Hallelujah! We always purchase the kit in November to make sure it doesn’t go out of stock and the kids beg to do it right away. Waiting for December is hard. This Friday was a home day and the perfect day to dive into our gingerbread kit. My favorite part is Jeremy’s icing snowman that literally melted within minutes of him making it. It feels very authentic and a unique touch. More fun with gingerbread this week included decorating gingerbread cookies with friends and a foam gingerbread house craft for school. I’m hoping to make some gingerbread myself in the next week or so. Graham is my cinnamon kid so he is just as excited as I am for this spicy, sweet treat!

Now for the snowflake bit of the week. On Saturday, we traveled up The Bellevue Collection to watch Snowflake Lane with friends. We love this parade filled with music, dancing, costumes, special lights, and (my favorite part) snow! Well, the snow is actually soap, but the effect makes me so happy that I don’t mind it’s not the real deal. We don’t make it up to Snowflake Lane every year, so it’s always a special celebration. This was our second time meeting friends for the event and that makes it even more festive. This time we met early enough to have dinner together and then grab treats from Starbucks before finding our spot on the road. Saturday was a rainy PNW day, but thankfully, it dried up in time for main event. A visit to Snowflake Lane is always a favorite Christmas experience. “Snow” much fun!

Another highlight of the week included Graham losing his second tooth. He swallowed his first lost tooth and now his second one went down the drain! What are the odds? The kid hasn’t been able to leave a tooth for Tooth Fairy yet. Thankfully, he handled the loss well. He doesn’t care too much about the tooth as long as a dollar is the end result. Turns out the Tooth Fairy is very understanding of mishaps like this. She’s a sweetie!

I love this time of year! Christmas cards are collecting on the fridge. Christmas music is often playing the background. The yummy treats and special gatherings make each week feel like a party. One day last week, I saw a post on social media with the message “hold on to your peace” in reference to this time of year. Then the very same statement was in the devotional I read with the boys at the start of school. When a message repeats itself in my day (this time within the hour), I know it’s not a coincidence, it’s the Holy Spirit. The holiday season can get anyone amped up and stressed out – myself included. I can get overwhelmed and let anxiety rule my thoughts unless I’m intentional to hold on to my peace. We’re coming off of a busy season and I can’t say peace has been my priority. Heading into this break, I hope to schedule a little less activity and let myself (and my family) rest. The holidays don’t have to be a mad dash through a Christmas calendar obstacle course. I’m hoping to keep peace in mind as we celebrate over the next few weeks. I hope you can do the same. Merry Almost Christmas!

An Introvert in her December habitat – hot chocolate, Christmas novel, fake fire with instrumental Christmas music, and white lights on the tree. Very peaceful!
Threw together a batch of Christmas cookies for the scavenger hunt. This is around two of Christmas cookies with hopefully one or two more baking sessions to come.
The 2022 Gingerbread House (Mansion)
The snowman is my favorite part!
We braved the mall in December for Snowflake Lane (and got a Mickey Mouse calendar).
Snowflake Lane 2022
I find fake snow so magical!
Santa Sighting
Red Cups and family adventures with my forever friend!
How my kids decorate cookies… Abstract art…???
Now for the foam version… the gingerbread theme was strong this week!
 

Star Stomp and Other Christmas Adventures! December 7, 2022

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 7:19 pm

We are only one week into December… but if I recap the whole week for you, it will seem like we’ve lived an entire month in seven days! The big focus on the week was Star Stomp, our church Christmas musical. Friday evening was practice for the kids with solos and drama parts. Graham got to spend a special evening with Nana and Papa while the rest of us worked on the production. I did my final role as a “substitute star” on Friday night. I was able to practice my backstage role at Saturday’s dress rehearsal so I was ready for Sunday morning. We had some family members come on Saturday to watch the dress rehearsal and that made it extra special. Sunday’s performances were amazing! The kids did the best they’ve ever done! Owen did a fantastic job as Lil G and Graham was a super star in the choir!

Over the last week, we’ve seen snowflakes most day and even had some accumulation from time to time. Sunday morning was a slow drive into church since the roads were snowy and icy. Usually, I stay home if there is snow on the road (even a dusting), but the kids had to get to the musical… soI did it. I was nervous the whole way, but we made it! Sunday afternoon into the evening, the snow came back and started to stick. Again, we had another snowy drive down to the church. This time for a Christmas party and lucky for me, Jeremy was behind the wheel for this drive.

Tuesday was our second Christmas party of the month. This time with our co-op friends. I put together 30 gift bags filled with fidget toys and sweet treats for a Left/Right game. The kids had a blast passing the gifts right and left with the silly story I read about Santa losing his toy sack. Mr. & Mrs. Claus were surprise guests at our party. I wasn’t sure if we were going to make a Santa picture happen this year, so it was nice the opportunity came up with no effort from me. The boys requested LEGO Super Mario sets from Santa (which is no shock). We wrapped up the party with a Secret Santa gift exchange. Graham got a dragon egg that hatches and grows in water. My countertop in now Baby Dragon Command Center. Very fascinating stuff.

This week I’ve tackled my Christmas cards and got them to the mail. I also wrapped almost all of our Christmas presents. Our shopping is mostly complete except for a few small things. I’m feeling good about the Christmas to-do list. If parties, productions, and projects weren’t keeping us busy enough, our church is also hosting a scavenger hunt the entire month of December. In the midst of our commitments, our family is completing holiday challenges in the scavenger hunt app. We’re doing the best we can, but we’re currently in 10th place. We’ll need to up our game soon!

So here’s the stats – two musical practices, two musical performances, two Christmas parties, multiple days with snow, Christmas cards out, Christmas wrapping mostly done… this week has been a LOT! The good news is the rest of the month mellows out now. We have some Christmas plans and traditions to make happen, but it shouldn’t be such a mad dash. We are ready to rest up and enjoy a bit of Christmas vacation right around the corner!

Making mini-snowmen for the Scavenger Hunt. Yes, he is barefoot and crazy! Good thing we weren’t out for long.
So proud of all the hard work these two put into Star Stomp! Such a memorable choir experience!
This musical had so many fun elements like star glasses and gloves that react to black light. For one song the kids did motions with light tubes and for another song we had ribbon dancers.
Snapped a pic on the monitor of my hubby rapping while I worked backstage.
Ready for our co-op Christmas party! Santa hats, Christmas shirts, jingle bells – check!
Gotta wear my Christmas sweater as much as I can this month!
Such a fun surprise to have Santa and Mrs. Claus at our Christmas party!
Taught the boys how to make paper snowflakes today as a part of the scavenger hunt. Owen made two, Graham made six… I made…
I made a dozen paper snowflakes. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I forgot how much fun they are to make!
 

December Arrived with a Flurry December 1, 2022

December arrived with a flurry! A flurry of snow that is! As I write this post a light dusting of snow is melting in my yard. I’m a little sad there wasn’t more, but I’ll happily enjoy whatever snow we get. Ever since Monday, we’ve seen snowflakes falling throughout the day. I love looking out the window as the flurries fall. The end of November has also been a flurry – a flurry of activity!!!

Where to start? On Wednesday, the 22nd, we decorated the house for Christmas. Jeremy worked a half day and since our Thanksgiving weekend was full to the brim, this seemed like the best time to make the merriment happen. Decorating the house is almost a holiday in itself for our family. We sipped hot apple cider and listened to Christmas music while adding Christmas cheer all over. The boys select an ornament each year and it’s no surprise that they chose Luigi and Yoshi from Nintendo Super Mario. We added a Mario ornament to our big tree and I just ordered a Grinch ornament today because our family (specifically Graham) has an obsession with the Grinch this year.

We spent most of Thanksgiving Day with Jeremy’s family. We enjoyed good food, a bunco tournament (I won so many prizes for being the biggest loser), and yard games. We finished the day with an untraditional pizza dinner with my parents. The rest of the holiday weekend was filled with family, friends, and shopping. We hosted a sleepover with some of the cousins Friday into Saturday. We had friends over for dinner on Sunday. We hosted a play date on Monday. I can’t remember the last time we’ve had company over five days in a row. Wow! I got the baulk of the Christmas shopping done online with Black Friday sales and we visited a few stores Saturday afternoon. I’m feeling very good about where my Christmas shopping is at now. Even though November wasn’t over, I was starting to feel behind!

Sunday was Christmas musical practice and the start of Advent. The church calendar is running our lives at this moment! Owen had drama practice for the musical last night and he’ll have another practice tomorrow. Saturday is a dress rehearsal for the whole choir and then Sunday is showtime! I’m so excited to see Owen and Graham preform in their first Christmas musical. I’m so proud of the whole team – kids and leaders alike. It’s been a wild ride! It will be neat to see it all come together on Sunday.

I taught a Christmas cookie decorating class on Tuesday for our homeschool co-op. It went so well (considering I didn’t know what to expect). I provided all the decorating supplies and the students brought cookies to frost. I let the group know in advance what cookies I would be demonstrating so they could bring similar cookies to class. These kids focused intently on their decorating and their cookies turned out amazing. Our co-op could open a bakery! I loved listening to Christmas music play on my portable speaker while kids creatively decorated cookie after cookie. Our boys were worn out after the big weekend, so I kept them home from the cookie class. When I got home, we pulled out all the supplies and did mini-version of the class with our family.

That sums up the flurry of activity we’ve had this last week. We are headed into another big weekend with the Christmas musical right around the corner. I love how fun and festive the activities are this time of year. After a busy season for our family, I’m also looking forward to slowing down and savoring the season over the next few weeks! Happy first day of December!

Making the house merry and bright!
The Christmas season is officially here!
Graham is a whole Christmas vibe!
The Start of Advent
Prepping for my cookie class on Monday night. I had plenty of frosting left over, but better safe than sorry!
Snapshots from Tuesday’s cookie adventures!
Studying the layers of the Earth this week.
Not a bad way to start December! Let it snow!